Aerobic And Anaerobic Treatment Technology For Treatment Of Industrial Wastewater
Aerobic and anaerobic treatment are two major types of biological wastewater treatment methods that help in the decomposition of organic waste present in the wastewater. The primary difference between the two processes is the use of oxygen. The microorganisms in aerobic systems perform their function in the presence of oxygen, whereas in anaerobic systems, the decomposition process is carried out by microbes in the absence of it. Read on to find out more about aerobic and anaerobic treatment technologies, origins, differences, advantages and disadvantages and much more.Brief History Of Aerobic And Anaerobic Treatment
Aerobic treatment of wastewater began to be used more than 100 years ago, back in the 1890s. The trials were first conducted in the UK and then in the US. Aerobic system based on the principle of activated sludge process was first studied by scientists around 1914. As for anaerobic wastewater treatment, the sludge digestion process came into existence at the end of the 19th century in the UK and around 1927, the first heated tank unit was established in Germany. Today, both aerobic and anaerobic treatments have evolved, gained recognition and are used for different purposes.Aerobic and Anaerobic Treatment Differences
The selection of aerobic and anaerobic treatment of wastewater depends on a large number of factors which include wastewater parameters such as pH, temperature, dissolved oxygen etc. In addition, COD, BOD, treatment duration, effluent quality, microbe quantity and energy required are also considered. This is the reason several experts believe the combination of both the systems and technologies is very beneficial. However, there are many differences between aerobic and anaerobic treatment.
In most cases, the aerobic treatment method is utilized for wastewater with COD less than 1000 mg/L and when oxygen is a necessity for successful treatment. In the aerobic process, oxygen and biomass are used to decompose organic waste and turned into carbon dioxide and water. Apart from decomposition, pollutants like nitrogen and phosphorus are also treated through nitrification and denitrification processes.
Anaerobic treatment is used for wastewater with COD of more than 1000 mg/L, which means higher organic loading. Also, organic matter is decomposed by microbes in the absence of oxygen and creates harmless by-products such as carbon dioxide, water and methane.
Other differences include investment, energy consumption and sludge yield which is higher for aerobic treatment compared to anaerobic. As for technologies, Activated Sludge Process (ASP), Trickling Filter, and Rotating Biological Contactor (RBC) are used for aerobic wastewater treatment. Anaerobic Digestors (AD), Continuous Stirred Tank Reactors (CSTR), Sequencing Batch Reactors (SBR), Up-flow Anaerobic Sludge Blanket (UASB) Reactors are utilized in anaerobic wastewater treatment.Aerobic and Anaerobic Treatment Advantages & Disadvantages
Aerobic treatment has the advantage of less odour as no hydrogen sulphide or methane is produced. Moreover, it has better nutrient removal efficiency than anaerobic treatment. High energy consumption and maintenance costs are some of the disadvantages. Plus, the extra cost is incurred to remove undigested solid waste. The anaerobic treatment produces methane or biogas, which is a major advantage as it can be used as a renewable source of energy.
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